The 25 best movies on Netflix you can stream right now

5. No Country For Old Men (2007) 

Region: US

The film: Another terrific Coen brothers movie, rich in idiotic simpletons getting involved in things they shouldn't. Josh Brolin plays the dolt in question, who stumbles across the aftermath of a drug deal gone to pot (ahem), and decides, "Hey, I'll just keep the money!" And naturally, that was the worst thing he could have done.

Why it's worth watching: Javier Bardem manages to sport the drippiest haircut... and somehow, we're still utterly terrified of him. That'll be the cattlebolt gun he carries with him. 

4. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Region: US 

The film: Such is David Lynch's influence, his last name has become a descriptor for the wonderfully bizarre and dark layer of life, buried just beneath the surface of white picket fence, apple-pie Americana. Mulholland Dr. continues that trend. It's a Hollywood noir, a murder-mystery whodunnit, a... oh hell, it's everything. Naomi Watts and Laura Harring star as two women, one with starlet dreams, the other with a serious case of amnesia. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Why it's worth watching: Its jumbled story that offers no real sense of closure just plain works. The plot thickens with each repeat viewing, until you realise that this isn't meant to be enjoyed like a typical film. 'Course not. It's Lynchian, after all. 

3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 

Region: UK 

The film: Still one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made, it's hard to believe Frank Darabont's film was a flop in cinemas. Luckily, this modern classic found its audience on home entertainment, with audiences lapping up this tale of Andy Dufresne, a banker wrongly charged with double homicide. His ambitious goal to break out of prison serves as the main driving force, but as fans will attest, this is more than a mere 'prison break' movie. 

Why it's worth watching: Tim Robbins delivers a career-best performance and Morgan Freeman sets himself up as the voiceover artist in every movie made since. What's not to love about this movie? 

2. Pulp Fiction (1994)  

Region: UK, US

The movie: Tarantino's second film betters the excellent Reservoir Dogs, making the director synonymous with strange narrative structures and superb characterisations. Where else are you going to hear gangsters shooting the shit about day-to-day trivial things? Everywhere now, thanks to Pulp's lasting legacy on modern cinema.  

Why it's worth watching: Yep, the plot is brilliantly constructed, but the film's strength lies in its cast. As well as a stellar turn from Uma Thurman, the film single-handedly relaunched the careers of Bruce Willis and John Travolta, giving them each the best roles of their lives. Keep your eye out for a scene-stealing bit from Harvey Keitel as The Wolf. 

1. The Shining (1980) 

Region: US 

The film: It's quite something when an author shuns an adaptation of their work. Stephen King is not a fan of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. He's stated on more than one occasion that Kubrick's haunting version of his fictional events lacks the depth and characterisation of his source novel. And he's right; it doesn't delve into backstories, or provide answers to why The Overlook hotel - and the evil within its walls - prey on winter caretaker Jack Torrance. That's why it's so effective. 

It's an icy blast of a film, perpetuating little in the way of reason and plenty in the way of mystery. Isn't that how true horror gets under the skin? By never telling us how to feel - or why our pulses are racing. 

Why it's worth watching: The tingles up your spine as Jack shoots the shit with Lloyd the bartender: it's mundane chatter made creepy because there's no-one else in the place except for Jack, his wife Wendy and son Danny. That foreboding feeling as Danny trundles through the Overlook's never-ending hallways, stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of two girls who, like Danny and his family, have no place being in the Overlook.